|Let's talk about the long and short of personal style, shall we?|
Of course, we could shop our own closets, try to remake new outfits with old pieces. We could shop in vintage or thrift stores. Yep. We could do that. And I do do that on occasion. I also take old pieces to the tailor to have them altered. Like I did with my old Max Mara pant suit last spring, when the pants had to be let out... considerably. Sigh. I've also had ginormous eighties shoulder pads removed from an Alfred Sung houndstooth blazer from the eighties which I still love and want to wear again. And in the past I've had pant legs narrowed, or let down, or hemmed and cuffed to make them more current.
In my youth, pant legs were the bane of my existence. In fact pants in general were the bane of my existence. When I was a teenager jeans and dress pants were usually too baggy in the butt or too short in the legs for me. I've written endlessly here on the blog about the Sisyphean task of shopping for jeans. But since the demise of the hipster, low-rise jean, and the advent of the high-waisted skinny jean I've been pretty happy shopping for jeans, and for pants in general. I've found that I can easily find jeans and other pants which flatter me, and which don't make me feel as if I'm walking around in someone else's clothes.
Until lately. Lately I've been trying on a plethora of ugly pants. As my grandmother might say, there are more ugly pants in stores than you can shake a stick at. Ha. I love that expression.
A case in point. Recently I've been shopping for plaid pants. Plaid pants that are cropped to a flattering length, and which will look great with my burgundy loafers, and maybe my burgundy Akris sweater, or my Uniqlo down vest.
|These Veronica Beard and Aritzia pants were definitely built for someone else... not me.|
When I came home from the mall, I checked out both pairs on-line. And even on the models, where one assumes the pants fit as they're supposed to fit, I thought they looked unflattering.
|Veronica Beard at Nordstrom, and the Babaton "Jimmy" pant at Aritzia|
I did eventually find a pair of cropped plaid pants which suit me, and which look good with my burgundy loafers, and my Akris sweater, and even my down vest. The pants are from Rag and Bone. They have a slim leg which is a better fit for me, but like all the other pairs I tried, they were too short. Luckily the seamstress at Nordstrom was able to let the hem down, so they look less like pedal pushers and more like ankle pants. It's amazing how much difference an inch of pant leg can make.
|Feeling pretty pleased about my new (longer) Rag and Bone plaid pants.|
When I went to pick them up earlier this week, Liz and I had a chat about pant leg length. About what is flattering on different people, and how sometimes it's hard to find the right length. How easy it is to be swayed by styles we see "everywhere" at the moment, and how hard it is to resist the temptation to buy pants that don't do us any favours.
Of course whether a style suits us is a very individual thing, isn't it? Liz, who is about five foot two, wears a similar pair of Rag and Bone pants to ones I own. They hit her just at her ankle. She said she could roll them to achieve a length that is more cropped, and more in keeping with the original design of the pant, but she feels that a shorter crop on her diminutive frame isn't flattering. She prefers a more stream-lined look, one which lengthens her leg. And me... in the same pant I look like Olive Oyl, with too much skinny ankle sticking out. An added inch makes the pant length look perfect, to me. Less awkward, more chic. And here's the thing; it's much easier to shorten pants than it is to find enough material in the leg to lengthen them. Just saying.
|A slimmer line and a longer leg than the other pants I tried suits me better.|
My new pants look great with my Akris burgundy sweater, and with my Uniqlo down vest. And, when I pulled them out of the closet this afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the soft grey in the plaid works perfectly with my old grey cashmere turtleneck from Vince. I love this sweater, and I haven't worn it much in a couple of years.
So really that's the long and short of what I wanted to say about personal style. Some fashion trends leave me cold... like the cold-shoulder top. Pun intended. Others like wide-leg, cropped pants may appeal to you. They may look fabulous on you. I like them too, on some people. Just not on me. Despite their proliferation on-line and in stores, wearing them makes me feel as if I'm wearing someone else's clothes.
Maybe that makes me look as if I don't like change, as if I'm stuck in a rut and won't take a fashion risk. Maybe I just need to get used to them. Maybe next year you'll find me all decked out in wide-leg, cropped, pedal-pusher-length pants.
Maybe. But, I wouldn't hold my breath.
So, how about you my friends? Any fashion trends that are grating on you these days?
Linking up this week with: Visible Monday, #IwillwearwhatIlike, Thursday Favourite Things, #ShareAllLinkup.